Healthy School Survey: 6 questions for students to consider

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You can adapt this simple survey to fit your classroom’s needs. Use it as-is or incorporate any of 3 quick activities that meet Common Core standards.

Once your students have discovered how their surroundings help and hinder their health, they can snap photos and write captions for the photo contest. Classrooms will have until November 25, 2014 to submit their entries.


Hey students, can you school help you be healthy? It can if the principals, teachers and students work together to make it that way. A healthy school environment helps you be the best you can be by offering nutritious food choices and allowing time for physical activity. You have the power to help make your school a healthy place to be!

Here are some things you and your classmates to investigate. Be sure to snap a photo for I Am Here to show how your school helps you be healthy! Then find an example of how it doesn’t. Add captions and send in your submission photos in to KC Healthy Kids by the contest deadline!

Healthy School Survey

Instructions: Read each section out loud or to yourself. Once you have read the paragraph completely please answer the questions on a separate piece of paper. Please use complete sentences and put your name on your paper.

1. Do school rules help you be healthy?

Think about what happens when you do good work or misbehave. Do you have to run laps or miss recess because you didn’t follow directions? Are you offered candy and cookies for answering a question right or helping another student? We learn to dislike things that are related to punishment and like things we see as a reward. Sometimes rules like these set up unhealthy attitudes toward junk food and physical activity.

What ideas do you have for healthy rewards and punishment that won’t make you miss out on the chance to play?

2. Does your school serve breakfast?

Did you know many schools have breakfast programs where students can be eligible for free and reduced-price meals? A balanced breakfast helps keeps your body and brain energized all through the morning. The USDA’s School Breakfast Program creates different ways schools can offer a nutritious meal including: Traditional Breakfast, Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab ‘N’ Go Breakfast, Breakfast After First Period and Breakfast on the Bus.

How do you think a nutritious breakfast will help you learn?
Was there ever a time you were distracted in school because you were hungry or made poor food choices?

3. Does your school know farmers?

KC Healthy Kids can help make your school more connected to your food and community through our Farm to School Academy. Farm to School Academy is a program that is uniquely designed for each school to increase kid’s consumption of healthy, local food. The program introduces teachers, parents, and students to the great taste and health benefits of choosing locally grown produce to support a healthy lifestyle. Farm to School can work with your cafeteria staff to buy and make kid-friendly recipes with local produce. The program also uses learning materials and fun activities to help teach nutrition information and how to support changes for a better community!

Do you know where the food in your café comes from?
How often does your café serve fresh fruit and vegetables?
What are some of your favorite healthy foods?

4. Do you have time to play at your school?

Recess and P.E. are more than just a time to play kickball or jump rope. They help you get exercise, enjoy fresh air, practice team building and use your imagination! Did you know it also helps you inside school as well? A study found that students who had at least 15 minutes of free play at school a day showed better behavior in the classroom.
How much recess do you have each day?
Using information from the paragraph above, how can recess and P.E. improve your day at school?
Give at least one example from the paragraph.

5) Can you walk or bike to your school?

Your school’s environment is not just about what’s inside or on the playground – it’s also about what surrounds it. Many schools have school bus systems, and some have walking school busses or bike trains too! These modes of active transportation help you get some extra physical activity before and after school. You can start a walking school bus or bike train with your family, your neighbors, or even your classmates. It is important to remember you need to bring along one or more adults. Find out more with the National Center for Safe Routes to School’s Walkability Checklist.

How do you get to school?
Have you ever walked or biked to school?
What would make it easier for you to do so?

6. Does your school have a wellness policy?

Perhaps your school chooses not to advertise soda or sell junk food for fundraisers. Many schools set wellness policies like these to promote health and safety among students. The USDA offers optional and beneficial guidelines for schools to follow to be sure school days are filled with healthy opportunities.

What rules or procedures have you noticed around your school that help you stay healthy?
What are some things you would change to make it even better?

It’s important to celebrate how your school helps you be healthy and to speak out about the changes that can be made to make your school a healthier place!

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